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Ace Spencer Rubin Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$5,975
Application Deadline
Feb 16, 2022
Winners Announced
Mar 16, 2022
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Must be a high school or undergraduate student
Must have a significant physical disability

Ace Spencer Rubin was a brave medic who lost his legs while helping his comrades during the Vietnam War. 

Ace continued to persevere and lived a fulfilling life full of love and family despite being disabled.

This scholarship seeks to honor the life of Ace Spencer Rubin by supporting students who are living with physical disabilities.

Any student who is entering or currently enrolled in an undergraduate program with a significant physical disability, such as the loss of a limb, may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us about your experience with your disability and how this scholarship would help you achieve your goals.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published September 15, 2021
Essay Topic

What has your experience with your disability taught you? How would winning this scholarship help you reach your goals?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Albert Kunickis
Lemont Township High SchoolLemont, IL
I learned how to tie my shoes in second grade. The task was minuscule for the typical seven-year-old, so much so that my peers would purposely untie and retie their shoes to demonstrate their mastery. It was a criterion defining the elementary elite, and I couldn’t check the box. Every night, I would spend hours working through hundreds of failed attempts only to become more frustrated with myself -- I was determined to free myself from the confines of my mother’s double-knotted tie. A friend provided some guidance: he got it right away and then walked me through step-by-step. With each attempt, I progressed, but my patience withered as I couldn’t get a grip on the laces. Nevertheless, I swallowed my frustration, ultimately tying my first knot. It wasn’t neat, but I was elated. Not only because now my shoelaces wouldn’t drag on the floor when they came untied, but because this was the first challenge I conquered having half of a right arm. Life with one arm may be seen as a burden from others’ perspectives. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at otherwise easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers - and that quickly translates to sympathy, which, despite coming from a kind and considerate place, can be stagnating. Certainly, I’ve learned that the willingness to authentically disregard fear and persevere is not an easy undertaking. And while I am unequivocally grateful for the support and sacrifice my family, friends, and community unconditionally give, I need sovereignty: some things I needed to fight for entirely on my own, even if everyone thought I needed two hands to do them. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. A presumed hobby quickly turned into a passion at my first practice. When I started youth football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the implicit yet obvious doubt they had in me. I’d step out to gather myself after being ridiculed for having one arm, only to come back in and prove that I was able to contend with them physically and mentally. I think about those games whenever times get challenging. I say to myself: “If my eleven-year-old self didn’t quit when it felt like the world was against me, why would I now?” Since then, I have prepared for every football season like it was my last. The past two seasons, I have converted hours of training into my gameplay and have consequently earned the respect of my opponents, teammates, and coaches. Even my childhood idol, NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, sent me a signed jersey after reading a Chicago Suntimes article written about me, with a message of encouragement to “Keep inspiring others!”. Other obstacles have and will continue to try and stop me, but I look forward to both the struggle and the success. My character is a mosaic of my life’s failures that tie me together. Still, with multiple opportunities to play Division 1 football and an enthusiasm for my future, I am proud to say that it is also a reflection of my commitment, which so many others have sacrificed much to bring about. Without shifting the way I view what others may see as unfavorable, I wouldn’t be the athlete, student, friend, or man I am today. I never knew tying my shoes would be so life-changing and awakening.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Feb 16, 2022. Winners will be announced on Mar 16, 2022.

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